2004 Oneonta Prospects of the Year

Oneonta didn't have a breakout season by any means, as they finished with a mediocre record. The team also lost arguably their best prospect, OF Jeff Frazier, to a broken arm just 79 at bats into his season. But, despite the loss of Frazier, the team still had a few players step up, and it turns that the 2 award winners were a pair of unheralded - but legit - players on the roster.

C Dusty Ryan

Dusty Ryan came into the year not even considered Oneonta's full time starting Catcher. But by the end of the season, not only had he grabbed a handle on the full time Catching position; he had positioned himself as one of the organization's top prospects. Some have suggested that Ryan is too big (6-5, 200) to stay behind the plate, and will eventually be forced to move to First Base or the Outfield, but he appeared to handle the job well in his first season of professional baseball. And while his defense was respectable, his offense is what forced the team to keep him in the lineup. Ryan was just one of 3 O-Tigers to display an OPS over .800 (the other 2 being Juan Llamas and Jeff Frazier; a 24-year old minor league veteran and a prospect who got just 79 at bats before being sidelined with an injury). Ryan also displayed very good patience, walking 24 times in 157 at bats. The new challenge for Ryan will come next season, when he'll be once again competing for playing time, this time at West Michigan where not only will he need to battle for playing time, but face the rigors of a year long season. But, for now Ryan can enjoy his 2004 breakout campaign.

AVG: .274
HR: 4
RBI: 26
2B: 11
OPS: .802

SP Nate Bumstead

While Bumstead certainly didn't join the organization as one of the most heralded prospects – he didn't let his status as a 32nd round draft pick phase him. Bumstead came in and dominated the New York Penn League, going 3-1 with an ERA just over 2 in 9 starts. Bumstead received plenty of experience on a Louisiana State team that made noise in the College World Series, but he nevertheless proved many doubters wrong who contended that the 21-year old wouldn't be able to get professional hitters out. Possibly more impressive than Bumstead's record and ERA were the way he achieved the numbers he did – thoroughly dominating the competition in almost all aspects. Bumstead's 5 to 1 K:BB ratio was best on the team, as was his 75 strikeouts. Possibly best of all, Bumstead allowed just over 1 baserunner per inning, with a WHIP of 1.08. Bumstead still has plenty of obstacles to overcome as he moves up the ladder, including the lack of velocity he possesses for a right hander, but until hitters can begin with figure out this hurler, he'll simply continue to show up and get results.

ERA: 2.03
IP: 57.2
K/BB: 75:15

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